"Atticus is a gentleman..."  What qualities in Atticus merit such a remark from Jem in chapter 11 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"? Wth close reference to the text, show how Atticus...

"Atticus is a gentleman..."  What qualities in Atticus merit such a remark from Jem in chapter 11 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

Wth close reference to the text, show how Atticus is an excellent role model for his children.

Expert Answers
troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is a true gentleman.  The first example would be when he defends Boo (Arthur) when the kids write him a note, trying to get him out of the house.  He said to leave that "poor man alone" and "what Mr. Radley did may seem peculiar to us, but it did not seem peculiar to him."  Atticus was furious that the kids were making fun of Boo. 

Another instance is when Jem and Scout bring Walter Cunningham (Jr.) over for lunch.  Atticus sits and speaks to Walter as if he's a man.  He sees past the social classes and talks to the person, not the name or the farmer or his class standing.  He chose a topic of conversation with Walter that was familiar to Walter, so he made him feel comfortable.

Another instance which is the most obvious is when he stuck up for Tom.  He knew Tom was an honest, hard working man.  Even though he was black, Atticus treated him as a man.  He even went out to tell Helen himself when Tom was killed.  He could have sent someone.  But he went personally.

And the most important aspect of his character is how he taught courage.  He said, "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."  Atticus only used his gun when he had to.  He never boasted about it and was always humble and modest.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question